Two Unique Villas on the Map of Prague Sights
During their Prague visit, architecture lovers should definitely heat to Střešovice and visit two exquisite major works of the 20th century interwar architecture - Villa Müller and Villa Rothmayer. Both of them can be viewed for a special fee.
The Villa of Milada and František Müller (1928-1930) is a masterpiece of international architectural avant-garde. It is a rare example of consensus between an enlightened client and a brilliant architect. František Müller, co-owner of the Kapsa-Müller construction company, was a prominent member of Czech society. Müller did not hesitate to commission one of the greatest architects of the time, Adolf Loos, who was working in Bohemia at the time, to design his private residence. This commission gave Loos the opportunity to bring his original conception of space, the “Raumplan”, to its highest peak. The villa’s interior furnishings, selected by and in many cases designed by the architect himself, embody surprising harmony of modern functionalism with classic English style. Following a turbulent fate during the post-war era, the villa was renovated from 1997 to 2000, and subsequently opened to the public as a national cultural monument.
The Villa Müller permanent exhibition presents the lifestyle of a First Republic high society family in their luxury residence in Prague. The interiors, largely designed by Adolf Loos himself, are surprisingly ingenious in their use of space, as well as choice of materials and wide range of colours. The furnishings are renowned for the quality of their execution. Loos always worked with the very best manufacturers, placing high demands on them. The combination of luxury with simplicity and functionality confirms Villa Müller as a unique work of modern architecture and design.
The Villa Rothmayer is one of the gems of modern architecture of the 1920s. It is austere, yet luxurious and practical, inspired by the the Mediterranean style.
Otto Rothmayer (1892-1966) was a student, colleague, and friend of world-famous Slovenian architect Josip Plečnik. Under Plečnik’s tutelage, he assisted with the reconstruction of Prague Castle as well as the presidential retreat at Lány for President Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk. The connection between teacher and student is clearly visible in Rothmayer’s architectural work. Plečnik provided him with inspiration from the Mediterranean tradition, a basic touchpoint for both architects. In addition to his position at Prague Castle, Rothmayer designed a number of family villas and monuments, and even worked with Plečnik on his Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord in Vinohrady. He designed the interiors of a number of Prague shops, gallery and museum exhibitions, as well as one of the city’s playgrounds.
Otto Rothmayer’s private villa was built between 1928 and 1929 in a simple modern classical style. The villa’s aesthetic appearance is reduced to basic forms: a cube and a cylinder that conceals a spiral staircase. The villa’s interior was not large, but the focus was on precision craftsmanship and attention to detail throughout. An integral part of the villa is its connection to the garden through the veranda, which has become an inspiration for many visitors. The architect worked together with his wife Božena Rothmayerová (1899-1984), a well-respected textile designer and promoter of a modern lifestyle, to create a unique intellectual, work, and artistic environment. During the 1950s and 1960s, they met here with their circle of like-minded friends, including photographer Josef Sudek, sculptors Bedřich Stefan and Hana Wichterlová, and a host of other cultural and artistic personalities.
The permanent exhibition “The Story of One House and One Family” refers not only to Otto Rothmayer’s own personal architectural style, but also to the atmosphere of the house and its inspiring environment.
Combined tours always begin at Villa Müller, followed by a visit to Villa Rothmayer. This tour offers not only reduced admission fees as well as the opportunity to visit both villas in one day as a single tour. The tour takes place only with an expert guide and must be reserved in advance.
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday
April - October at 9:00, 11:00, 13:00, 15:00 and 17:00
November - March at 10:00, 12:00, 14:00 and 16:00
Combined Tour Admission Fee:
Basic CZK 420